For the region, "factory shipments and employment remained in positive territory, while the volume of new orders declined somewhat. Other indicators also suggested softer activity," the Fed said in its monthly report.
Indexes for delivery times and capacity utilization, which is the percentage of output compared to factories going full steam, "turned negative in the month and the volume of new orders declined somewhat," the Fed said.
The diffuse business index for the region fell to 3 in March from 6 in February. The shipments index fell from 10 to eight. The index measuring the volume of new orders dropped from the break even point of zero to minus four.
The number of employees index rose from eight to nine month to month, while the average workweek index jumped from minus two to 10, the report said.